A message from Executive Leader Coach Dave Kinnear.
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August 2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues

For those who don't live in the Southern California area or, perhaps, do but haven't yet discovered the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, I highly recommend that you make time to get there. It is a marvelous experience, and you will be supporting an effective organization doing great work around animal survival.

My wife and I enjoy both the Zoo and the Safari Park. And one of our favorite experiences is to spend the night at the Safari Park in a sleep-over known as the Roar & Snore.

"Roar" because the tents are not far from the Lion enclosure. They start roaring early in the morning—1:00 am or so. "Snore" because tent walls are thin and all the people snoring put up quite a ruckus. But what we like about this program and the park itself is that the animals are close and relatively "free." Since the park is closed in the evening, but we overnight guests are still there, the private tour is a behind the scenes look at the animal care. It's informative and fascinating.

Speaking of animals being close, the lady tiger in the image above was not happy with me taking her picture. Not sure why, might have been the noise of the camera. A couple of seconds after I took this picture, she charged the fence (only a scant few feet from me) and caused the crowd to gasp. That fence didn't look nearly strong enough to stop a tiger, but she didn't even try. Lucky for me!

So all of that is to explain why I'm late with the newsletter this month. We had a great vacation and enjoyed having our grandson around to share it. We, of course, did other "normal Southern California" tourist kinds of things. For me, though, the Safari Park is always the highlight.

Content This Month

In the first article, "Carefrontational," I explain how I came across a "new word." Well, at least it was new to me at the time. It is a beneficial word.

The second article, "Helpful?" delves into the world of mismatched perceptions and how it isn't constructive to keep employees from owning the whole job.

Article three, "I'm of Two Minds," takes a brief look at advances in neuroscience and how they are providing me with an analogy for our corporate world.

In the Nullius In Verba column, I explore a few idioms that I find useful. And I hope you find this month's newsletter helpful as well.


According to the latest information from the Institute for Trend Research, we have a bifurcated economy with the consumers staying resilient while the business community has cut back on investments. And another cautionary note is that Gross Private Domestic Investment contracted by 1% compared to the first quarter. That is the worse decline in a decade or so.

The underwhelming second-quarter result seems to be indicating that the US and global business cycles continue to move lower. And that is affecting confidence in the C-Suite. But despite the cautionary note, I hope you will. . .


Best Regards,
Dave Kinnear
Executive Leader Coach
Vistage Chair


A New Word: Back in 2005, during a leadership training class, I heard a new word, “Carefrontational.” I thought, “Wow! What a great word.” Very little further explanation was given. The instructor just used the word and knew we’d understand what was meant.

I’m sure it is also apparent to you as well. Just in case, what we mean is that as leaders, we will confront inappropriate behavior, lack of performance, or learning opportunity without hesitation. And, we will do that with compassion and care. So, the concatenation of caring and confrontational yields Carefrontational.

[Read the full post . . .]


Perception: Recently, a young person who I’m mentoring got onto a tirade about his boss micromanaging him. After he calmed down a bit, I asked him to give me some details. (For confidentiality reasons, I will obscure the real information, but the “story” is otherwise true.)

It seems that his boss would frequently delegate a task to this young man and would then “help” him with many unsolicited suggestions throughout the day. This help took the form of questions such as, “Did you talk to Jim about what he needs for his team?” Or, “Did you take the new marketing plan into account?” And sometimes it was not a question but a statement; such as, “I’ve been thinking, and we should add finance to the project team.”

[Read the full post . . .]

I'm of Two MInds

Bicameral: The latest neuroscience is refining our concepts of left-brain and right-brain functionality. Not very long ago, scientist thought that the right-brain did predominantly creative kind of thinking. The left-brain, it was thought, did the logical thinking. Today, the understanding is that things are much more integrated, and the two halves of our brain are both creative and logical. The subtlety is that the right-brain tends to process things at the “big picture” level while the left-brain gets into the details and isn’t so concerned with the big picture stuff.

[Read the full post . . .]

Nullius In Verba

Shorts, Axles, Rodes, and Ho!

Mixed Metaphor? The other day, I was getting a bit excited about a situation that was frustrating to me. A friend said, “Don’t get your shorts wrapped around the axle over this.” I have heard the phrase “getting wrapped around the axle’ many times before. In context, it meant getting frustrated to the point of being stopped. Moreover, I had heard the phrase “Don’t get your shorts in a bunch” before as well. This saying meant don’t get yourself upset and uncomfortable because of the situation. I don’t know about you, but I get upset when my shorts get bunched up. It’s very uncomfortable! (I know, too much information.)

[Read the full post . . .]
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Leaders are

Here's what's new in the reading stack!

I finally finished On Grand Strategy, and it was well worth the effort it took to stick to reading when I have so many other tasks on my list. I must be a glutton for punishment because I also just started George Will's new book, The Conservative Sensibility. We'll see how that goes.


Local Events

ENP Institute

Summer Social & Enterprise Innovation Strategy Spotlight : The Arbonne International Story

Irvine Headquarters – Arbonne International
9400 Jeronimo Rd, Irvine,
CA 92618

Register Here

Tech & Employment

McKinsey & Company asks, "Can Artificial Intelligence help society as much as it helps business?"

The answer is yes—but only if leaders start embracing technological social responsibility (TSR) as a new business imperative for the AI era.

In 1953, US senators grilled General Motors CEO Charles “Engine Charlie” Wilson about his large GM shareholdings: Would they cloud his decision making if he became the US secretary of defense and the interests of General Motors and the United States diverged? Wilson said that he would always put US interests first but that he could not imagine such a divergence taking place, because, “for years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa.” Although Wilson was confirmed, his remarks raised eyebrows due to widespread skepticism about the alignment of corporate and societal interests.

The skepticism of the 1950s looks quaint when compared with today’s concerns about whether business leaders will harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and workplace automation to pad their own pockets and those of shareholders—not to mention hurting society by causing unemployment, infringing upon privacy, creating safety and security risks, or worse. But is it possible that what is good for society can also be good for business—and vice versa?

To answer this question, we need a balanced perspective that’s informed by history. Technology has long had positive effects on well-being beyond GDP—for example, increasing leisure or improving health and longevity—but it can also have a negative impact, especially in the short term, if adoption heightens stress, inequality, or risk aversion because of fears about job security. A relatively new strand of welfare economics has sought to calculate the value of both the upside and the downside of technology adoption. This is not just a theoretical exercise. What if workers in the automation era fear the future so much that this changes their behavior as consumers and crimps spending? What if stress levels rise to such an extent as workers interface with new technologies that labor productivity suffers?

Read the Full Article


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CCE - Board
Certified Coach
Certified Veteran
Development Coach
Dave Kinnear, Executive Leader Coach
Dave Kinnear
Vistage Chair, CCE-Board Certified Coach, Certified Veteran Development Coach, and
 Executive Leader Coach
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